Nature and luxury all rolled into one at Silky Oaks
YOU can travel the world, sail the seven seas, escape to glorious beachside locations or venture to seductive mountain settings, but until you've immersed yourself in Queensland's Daintree Rainforest you haven't experienced true travel happiness.
That's my (rather fanciful) opinion anyway.
The Daintree Rainforest spreads a spiritual spell over everyone.
Its lushness holds promise of ancient secrets.
Its alluring sounds - croaking frogs, the call of whip birds - reach into the psyche.
Its pure, clean air calms the heart.
Its luxuriant, humid growth renews the faith.
Its atmosphere, heavy with mystery, beguiles the senses.
All is good with world when you are at one with the Daintree Rainforest.
But as splendid as nature is, so too is luxury.
Which takes us to Silky Oaks Lodge, a luxe enclave balanced on the edge of the Mossman River in the heart of the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest.
With 45 stand-alone furnished tree-houses blending into the forest, and a tree-top restaurant where walls and windows don't exist, you know you're going to experience rainforest grandeur at Silky Oaks Lodge.
Not only are you in the trees with the glorious green growth and prolific birdlife, you also have the Mossman River flowing obligingly below.
When forest sounds meld with the soft rush of a graceful river, there is confirmation that you are in a place so special, reverence is required. Fortunately, it comes naturally.
Silky Oaks Lodge has long attracted those looking for the serenity of nature combined with the trappings of luxury.
It was rumoured Oprah was to stay there on her Australian visit before the paparazzi found out and she changed her plans.
Located an hour north from Cairns and 15 minutes from Port Douglas, Silky Oaks Lodge panders unashamedly to your lazy side while gently welcoming your inner adventurer.
Night time forest walks with guides will reveal glimpses of shy wild life that will thrill you.
Day-time kayaking on the Mossman River will take you past ancient trees and towering ferns.
If you enjoy your river sport more on its banks, an intimate dinner a deux can be arranged, complete with white linen and sparkling glassware, right on the water's edge.
The town of Mossman with its quirky cafes, shops and pubs is just 10 minutes away - that is if you can tear yourself away from the tranquil arms of Silky Oaks Lodge.
The only dilemma at Silky Oaks Lodge is whether to take a scone and cream high tea in the Jungle Perch, sip a tall mango daiquiri in the Tree house Bar, lounge languidly in the hammock on your private veranda, or (this is what won us) fall into the Healing Waters Spa.
This is one of the most spectacular spas we've come across in our global travels.
Treatment rooms and the couples' spa room look out to the pristine rainforest which becomes an integral part of the pampering.
Treatments are designed to use nature's influence through flower and plant essences, herbal extracts and hands-on therapy.
In the evening, a candlelight dinner against the backdrop of the forest is unforgettable, as is the superbly prepared food, much of it seafood.